This week, thanks to my courageous grandson, I’m going to work on shutting up in the classroom. Noah, who is just seven and striving earnestly as a novice reader, was reading to me this afternoon, and I had to seriously struggle to stop myself from helping him. Whenever he paused over a word, I was right there with my bossy sense of helpfulness, ready with a handy hint to keep him going. Always the officious teacher, I was trying way too hard to teach this lad who, I soon realized, just wanted to work this out by himself. Luckily, I learned my lesson within a few minutes, and was soon sitting back and watching my grandson’s straining face as he made his brave way to the end of the story. By shutting myself up, I made it possible for him to have a small triumph, and I intend to take that approach with my students this week. A teacher needs to know when to shut up, watch, and be amazed.
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